New Blockchain Interoperability Standards Released By Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), an organization focused on creating “open, blockchain specifications,” has released a new set of standards for blockchain interoperability.

As noted in a blog post published on May 13th, 2019 from ConsenSys’ Medium account, the EEA has introduced version three of its Client Specification. The latest specification includes a “set of extensions to Ethereum” which will allow developers to build “interoperable Enterprise Ethereum clients.”

“Ethereum Is The Only Blockchain Based On Set Of Standards”

The Ethereum extensions have also been developed to enable private transactions on permissioned blockchains.

According to ConsenSys’ development team, Ethereum is “one of the only blockchains [that is] based on a set of standards, not just a single software project.” This means developers have the option to choose a different Ethereum client which may be more appropriate for their particular requirements.

Platforms that are based on standards, like Ethereum, “make it possible to build an ecosystem of interoperable tools” which may be integrated into a blockchain’s infrastructure, ConsenSys’ blog explained.

“Improving Blockchain’s Path To Global Interoperability”

During the past year, Ethereum’s developers released version 1 of the Client specification and the EEA community had been “working to continuously improve the specification [while also introducing] a new release about every six months,” ConsenSys’ blog noted.

As explained by ConsenSys’ development team, specification version three has been designed to “improve blockchain’s path to global interoperability” across Enterprise Ethereum blockchain clients - which are built to “support all industries.”

The latest specification features “significant improvements in the permissioning mechanism” which allows users to more effectively manage permission and privileges settings via “contracts on the blockchain itself,” ConsenSys’ blog stated.

New Specs Allow Developers To Build Simple And Complex Systems

The new specification tools also make it “simpler to implement clients” and “there is less chance of something going wrong” when deploying applications based on the updated set of Ethereum development standards.

Moreover, the latest specifications allow for greater flexibility to develop an Ethereum blockchain-based platform. This includes building decentralized applications (dApp) “with permission managed in the way that suits what it is being used for, whether that is a globally distributed system for supply-chain verification across many large corporate participants or a small public library system.”

Notably, the EEA has adopted a “baseline” consensus protocol, called the “Clique Proof of Authority algorithm,” in order to set up blockchain networks in a manner that allows them to communicate with each other (blockchain interoperability).

The EEA is also working on an “interoperability testing program” which will help in “improving interoperability between the tools that run Enterprise Ethereum blockchains,” ConsenSys blog stated.

Testing Various Other Consensus Protocols

Although Clique may be applied to many different blockchain-based solutions, EEA’s development team is also working on various implementations of Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithms.

The EEA is planning to test different types of consensus mechanisms in order to develop one “primarily based on IBFT (EIP-650).” Additionally, the Alliance intends to “enhance the safety and performance for networks where BFT is a better choice.”

As noted by ConsenSys’ development team, the results obtained will be used to develop and adopt at least on more consensus algorithm. These updates will be included in version 4 of the specifications which will be introduced in October 2019.

Ampleforth Seeks to Become the Perfect Digital Asset for Portfolio Managers

A new token is seeking to change up the existing paradigm in the cryptoasset market.

Billing itself as “smart commodity money” - a token that has the benefits of commodity-monies like gold and silver, but can respond efficiently to changes in demand - Ampleforth is keen to emphasize that its token represents a new kind of asset in the space.

The Evolution of Money 

Money has been reinvented many times over: for many centuries mankind did without it, instead simply assigning value to particular goods in exchange for other goods. Then gold and silver formed the basis of money, whether coins were made directly out of these precious materials or "stamped" as a standard into baser metals.

Indeed, gold as a standard for global money transfer lasted for many centuries: the official gold standard was dropped by Britain and the US in the early 1930s and by 1971 the system was abandoned completely to be replaced fully by what we now call the fiat money system where global currencies (to a large degree) freely float against each other on foreign exchange markets.

The Crypto-Evangelists

Niall Ferguson is an expert in this field and, as an Oxford and Harvard lecturer, has written and spoken about money and capital many times. He may be a little late to the crypto party but is none-the-less evangelical about it: in a Bank of England seminar last year he called cryptocurrencies "the financial system of the future".

Ferguson has now thrown his weight behind the Ampleforth Project, which - on June 13 - raised $4.9 million in 11 seconds in its initial exchange offering (IEO) of its "Ample" (AMPL) tokens.

The digital asset explains in its white paper that it’s a "synthetic commodity" that aims to become truly uncorrelated from both traditional assets, stocks and currencies as well as from Bitcoin, other cryptoassets and other synthetic commodities. The problem with existing synthetic commodities, the paper explains, is that they have so far failed to do both. 

Ampleforth Explained

While Ampleforth seeks the price target of $1 for the Ample, instead of pegging directly to the dollar - like Tether - or to a basket of fiat currencies - as Facebook's Libra intends - the Ample will allow the quantity of assets a user holds to fluctuate, in addition to price, as it seeks a price supply equilibrium.

The system's protocol will actively seek this equilibrium by either proportionally increasing the quantity of tokens every user holds when prices climb, or proportionally decreasing the quantity of tokens every user holds when prices fall.

This is called money supply and has been one of the tools used by central banks to control inflation for many years. But Ferguson's criticism of this - in his book The Ascent of Money - is that it reflects human sentiment too much:

Money amplifies our tendency to overreact, to swing from exuberance when things are going well to deep depression when they go wrong. Booms and busts are products, at root, of our emotional volatility.

Ampleforth seeks to overcome these problems algorithmically by applying countercyclical pressures that dampen volatility, encouraging markets to self-correct. Supply updates will be freely visible in the market ahead of any changes, allowing the market to anticipate these changes and respond accordingly.

Ferguson explains his enthusiasm for the project:

The ingenious thing about Amples is that this they are not stablecoins, pegged in some way to existing fiat money. They are a special kind of digital asset, the quantity of which varies in response to the behavior of investors and traders.

Crypto Rivals

Ampleforth is unlikely to challenge Bitcoin any time soon as the number one crypto investment, but offers a compelling three-stage plan for the use of Amples. 

In the near-term, the token’s lack of correlation to both traditional assets and Bitcoin, will make it a useful portfolio diversifier. 

In the more medium-term, Amples may be used as reserve collateral in decentralized banks, such as Maker DAO.

Ultimately, the long-term goal however, is that Amples will serve as an independent alternative to central bank money. The team describes it as a “macroeconomically friendly” Bitcoin that averts the deflationary problems associated with fixed supply commodities when used as reserve collateral by banks.

Ampleforth Moves Forward

Such was the success of its first token sale on Bitfinex, that Ampleforth is conducting a second round of funding on the same exchange on Thursday.

The company aims to raise close to $7 million in this IEO, with a maximum contribution per investor of $7,060 and a minimum of $28, with each Ample token worth $0.98.